Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Dragon & the Knight: A Pop-up Misadventure by Robert Sabuda

The Dragon & the Knight: A Pop-up Misadventure by Robert Sabuda was released this week. Don't bother to read what I have to say, just go buy it now. That's what I do whenever I see a new book released by either Sabuda or his partner Matthew Reinhart (whose proposed Sleeping Beauty has been MIA for a few years now, but oh well).

In other words, Sabuda and Reinhart are autobuys for me. I love pop-up books and they are two masters in the field. I preordered The Dragon & the Knight: A Pop-up Misadventure much earlier this year and didn't even really look at the vague description available then. Didn't much care. Just knew I wanted it. So when the book arrived on my doorstep this week, imagine my surprise to see that it actually belonged on SurLaLune when I looked at its pages.

Book description:

All of your favorite fairy tale characters come together in this original pop-up masterpiece, from expert craftsman Robert Sabuda.

In this brand-new pop-up adventure, a Dragon and a Knight race through a fairy tale treasury, visiting the worlds of all of your favorite stories—from Rapunzel to Aladdin, to Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs, and more! With characters who literally pop right off the pages, this tour de force will have readers young and old speeding through the book to see just how this chase will end!

Robert Sabuda has created a unique pop-up experience, bringing readers into a story via a 3-D journey. It’s a true masterpiece from the master!

I don't even remember fairy tales being mentioned in the description when I ordered it. Several are found within, but not really to enjoy for reading, but for viewing. Essentially, a dragon and knight race through the fairy tale book with unexpected and increasingly messy results that mean fun for us the reader/viewer. And while the pop-ups in his books are always enjoyable for all ages, this book actually has very little readable text, so it reads well with little ones, too, unlike some of the other pop-up fairy tale offerings available. The pop-ups are surprising but there is an extra twist ending, too, which will delight readers. And make you wonder about your assumptions at times.

Since this is technically a fractured fairy tales book, a knowledge of fairy tales will help for young readers but even a basic familiarity with Disney versions of the tales will suffice. And it's fun to have Aladdin represented in a book like this, too, where it seldom is. Its illustration is most reminiscent of Disney, actually as you can see in the image I am sharing here.

There are also spreads for Rapunzel and Snow White, not pictured here, which were two of my favorites as well as the final pages which cannot be revealed here to avoid ruining the twist ending.

Overall, a great gift book for the holidays for young or old. Young children will enjoy but it's fragile so they will need supervision. It's also stunning how low priced the book is for the level of paper engineering required to produce it. I am trying to decide who on my holiday and birthday lists will enjoy it most.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Book: Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales on Television edited by by Pauline Greenhill and Jill Terry Rudy

Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales on Television (Series in Fairy-Tale Studies) edited by by Pauline Greenhill and Jill Terry Rudy is the newest release in the Series in Fairy-Tale Studies from Wayne State University Press.

If you are interested in fairy tale in film, especially TV, this is a book for you. This is one of the first academic book publications--perhaps the first actually--to have academic articles about both NBC's Grimm and ABC's Once Upon a Time. Other shows are represented, too, and not always the usual suspects. Jim Henson's The Storyteller series is studied. So is Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1957 Television Production)--if you know your Cinderella history--that musical was first produced for television with Julie Andrews and has been produced for television in a few remakes since then.

Even PBS's Super Why! is included which has had several fairy tale retellings in its series. Other tales and their interpretations are within, too, from Snow White to Bluebeard to Hansel and Gretel. And, never fear, not just American television is included. While the articles tend to be centered around Hollywood, there are others, such as offerings about Japanese interpretations.

I considered retyping the table of contents, but since it is viewable by looking inside the book on Amazon, I decided to spare myself the time. But take a look there and see what a great resource this book is.

In addition--and for me the best part--the book offers a great guide and one of the most comprehensive lists of fairy tales interpreted on film, broken down into these categories:

  • Fairy-Tale Teleography
  • Individual Episodes
  • TV Specials, Live Performances
  • TV Series, Miniseries, and Educational TV Series
  • Made-for-TV Movies
  • Other Television References
  • Filmography

I received a review copy of the book and these lists are where I spent my initial time with the book. I love lists like this and the ones in this book are great. I found a few gems I didn't know about. So yes, I highly recommend this one. There are not many resources for academic studies of fairy tales in television and this is a substantial contribution to that area of study.

Book description:

Television has long been a familiar vehicle for fairy tales and is, in some ways, an ideal medium for the genre. Both more mundane and more wondrous than cinema, TV magically captures sounds and images that float through the air to bring them into homes, schools, and workplaces. Even apparently realistic forms, like the nightly news, routinely employ discourses of "once upon a time," "happily ever after," and "a Cinderella story." In Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales on Television, Pauline Greenhill and Jill Terry Rudy offer contributions that invite readers to consider what happens when fairy tale, a narrative genre that revels in variation, joins the flow of television experience.

Looking in detail at programs from Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the U.S., this volume’s twenty-three international contributors demonstrate the wide range of fairy tales that make their way into televisual forms. The writers look at fairy-tale adaptations in musicals like Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, anthologies like Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, made-for-TV movies like Snow White: A Tale of Terror, Bluebeard, and the Red Riding Trilogy, and drama serials like Grimm and Once Upon a Time. Contributors also explore more unexpected representations in the Carosello commercial series, the children’s show Super Why!, the anime series Revolutionary Girl Utena, and the live-action dramas Train Man and Rich Man Poor Woman. In addition, they consider how elements from familiar tales, including "Hansel and Gretel," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Beauty and the Beast," "Snow White," and "Cinderella" appear in the long arc serials Merlin, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Dollhouse, and in a range of television formats including variety shows, situation comedies, and reality TV.

Channeling Wonder demonstrates that fairy tales remain ubiquitous on TV, allowing for variations but still resonating with the wonder tale’s familiarity. Scholars of cultural studies, fairy-tale studies, folklore, and television studies will enjoy this first-of-its-kind volume.

Monday, October 20, 2014

New Book: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (Author) and Chris Riddell (Illustrator)

(UK Cover with link)

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (Author) and Chris Riddell (Illustrator) is released this week in the UK. Not the US. But a small consolation for Gaiman fans is that next week his Hansel and Gretel will be released stateside while it won't be released until December there. But I don't have a US release date for The Sleeper and the Spindle at all yet. There will be one, never fear. But it may be several more months. Bummer. As my dad likes to say, "Life isn't fair." I'll add "especially when it comes to book publishing."

(US Cover with link)

You can find the text of the story in Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales quite easily.

But an edition illustrated by Chris Riddell is a treat. I'll show images to tempt and taunt.

Book description from the publisher:

A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

Lavishly produced, packed with glorious Chris Riddell illustrations enhanced with metallic ink, this is a spectacular and magical gift.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fairy Tales in Advertising: Softbox: Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White

Softbox: Little Red Riding Hood
An inappropriate software harms your company.

Here's a campaign that offers more than one fairy tale. And it's an unexpected advertiser, too. Didn't imagine software using fairy tales like this, did you? I really like the LRRH figurines. But wow, with that apple in the Snow White ad we could get a whole lot of software jokes courtesy of a certain company, yes?

Campaign info from Ads of the World:

Advertising Agency: Diferi, Brazil
Creative Directors / Art Directors: Fabrício Gallo, Mário Virva
Creative Director: Sandro Porto
Copywriter: Sandro Porto
Illustrator: Studio Nuts
Additional credits: Bianca Bruneto
Published: July 2014

Softbox: Snow White
An inappropriate software harms your company.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fun eBay Finds: Little Red Riding Hood

I don't often share eBay finds here due to their ephemeral nature--and I really don't search very often--but these recent finds wanted to be preserved in my memory banks so I decided to share here. First there was this "Little Red Riding Hood" Lacquer Jewelry Box which I really like. It is handpainted and handcrafted. The artist's name is Krasnov E.

Next up are these adorable Little Red Riding Hood Lego earrings. These were crafted by the seller--to my knowledge there are no Red Riding Hood Lego sets. But that would be really cool and awesome.

Then there's the Vintage French Red Riding Hood Metal Blanc or Silver Plated Serviette Ring. In other words, a napkin ring. I wonder if these were a set of the same design or if different tales appeared in the set.

Finally, there's the European Charms - 'Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf' which are not so uncommon but they aren't usually packaged together like this for purchase.

And a bonus to see, but it has already sold, and not to me. This Little Red Riding Hood Inspired, Tree of Life Pendant Necklace appealed to me because I am a sucker for Tree of Life jewelry.

New Book: How Fairy Tales live happily ever after: (Analyzing) The art of adapting Fairy Tales by Conny Eisfeld

How Fairy Tales live happily ever after: (Analyzing) The art of adapting Fairy Tales by Conny Eisfeld was published this past summer in the US but just hit my radar. I suspect the book is an adaptation or translation of Eisfeld's Master's Thesis, A Literary and Multi-Medial Analysis of Selected Fairy Tales and Adaptations, which is also available for purchase.

Book description:

What happened to the classic fairy tale? Do we still read the 'old and dusty tales' of wonder to our children or would we rather take them to the cinema? The fairy tale boom has reached Hollywood where popular tales are currently transformed into entertainment movies.

Makers of films and TV series have become the storytellers of the digital age - a transition that frequently leads to discussions about how these new forms limit or contribute to the further development and preservation of the traditional fairy tale.

But what exactly is a traditional fairy tale? The book follows the history of the tale, how it has been changing colors and how it has been adapting and surviving for centuries. The main focus lies on the literary and multi-medial analysis of two popular fairy tales: Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood, which have not only been adapted to the screen recently but have been repeatedly altered throughout the centuries.

Follow the journey of the fairy tale from its most basic form, i.e. oral storytelling, to a written and illustrated commitment that shaped the general image of fairy tales for forthcoming generations, to its newest form: the visualization through new and digital media.

About the Author

Conny Eisfeld, M.A. was born in 1986 in Rostock, Germany. The author successfully finished her Master of Arts studies at the University of Southern Denmark and Flensburg in 2012. During her studies of Culture, Language and Media she gained thorough insights into the transformation of storytelling and the academic field of the collective memory. Fascinated by the transition of narration, she continued researching its further progression into the domain of new and digital media. The author has been living in the US, Denmark, Great Britain and Malta where she collected original and adapted tales as well as echoes of stories long known and told. Her work experience at various publishing companies combined with a passion for visual arts inspired her to further advance into the field of cross-media storytelling and beyond.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Book: Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis

(Amazon US/UK links)

Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis is released this week. And this is a rarer retelling: a science fiction Snow White. I'm always thrilled with science fiction genre retellings of fairy tales. Thanks to Marissa Meyer for helping make them more popular in recent years. And hubby John and I had fun earlier last year with creating our own Science Fiction Fairy Tales from SurLaLune, one even a Snow White. Remember this?

The Stitching Snow (UK Edition) will be released in the UK in November, so not too long of a wait there.

Book description:

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back-but that's assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane's arrival was far from accidental, and she's pulled into the heart of a war she's risked everything to avoid.

In her enthralling debut, R.C. Lewis weaves the tale of a princess on the run from painful secrets . . . and a poisonous queen. With the galaxy's future-and her own-in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Book: The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition translated by Jack Zipes

(Amazon US/UK Links)

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition translated by Jack Zipes is officially released later this week although it is already shipping from online book retailers. If you love Grimms and aren't very fluent in German, this is a book to get excited about. Even if you are fluent, it's pretty exciting, too.

Over the years, one of the top questions I've received as SurLaLune is: "Where are the dark, gritty fairy tales I hear about?" Well, that's a complicated question, but one interpretation of what they ask is: "Where are those lesser edited Grimms' tales that I've heard about?" For some reason, the entirety of the first Grimms' edition has not been translated into English previously. Zipes, in the Acknowledgements of this new book, says that during the Grimms' bicentennial in 2012 he decided, "if nobody was going to undertake this 'task,' I would do it--and do it out of pleasure and to share the unusual tales the Grimms collected as young men when they had not fully realized what a treasure they had uncovered."* After all, the Grimms had seven editions of their famous collection and there were considerable changes between that first and seventh edition.

That's a boon since, after all, Zipes has also translated one of the most used and most recommended editions of Grimms. For that conversation see my blog post: Library Essentials: Picking a Grimm Translation. Nice to have Zipes' translations of both the earliest and later versions of the tales to compare and consider.

From the book's introduction:

In fact, many of the tales in the first editions are more fabulous and baffling than those refined versions in the final edition, for they retain the pungent and naive flavor of the oral tradition. They are stunning narratives precisely because they are so blunt and unpretentious. Moreover, the Grimms had not yet "vaccinated" or censored them with their sentimental Christianity and puritanical ideology.

And, a bonus for scholars like me and some of you, Zipes also translated some of the Grimms' notes to the tales:

As for the sholarly notes to the tales, I have provided a thorough summary of each note to indicate sources, and I have also translated the variants of the tale that I thought were important. These notes reveal, in my opinion, how knowledgeable and erudite the Grimms were at a very young age.

Finally, this means that the table of contents to the book is different from what we consider the standard contents since the Grimms removed and added tales over subsequent editions. Zipes has included several of those omitted tales in his standard Grimms in the appendices but now they are provided in their original context in their original place. For example, "The Summer and Winter Garden"--no. 68 in the first edition and a Beauty and the Beast tale--was omitted in later editions for being too French. In later editions, KHM 68 (the way Grimms tales are referenced by number, abbreviating the title Kinder- und Hausmärchen with the tale's number in the contents) is "The Thief and His Master."

And in this edition, you get the infamous and disturbing "How Some Children Played at Slaughtering." In later editions, you get KHM 22 as "The Riddle" instead which is much more innocuous as the titles imply.

So, yes, I highly recommend this book for fairy tale fans.

Book description:

When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their Children's and Household Tales in 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as "Rapunzel," "Hansel and Gretel," and "Cinderella" would become the most celebrated in the world. Yet few people today are familiar with the majority of tales from the two early volumes, since in the next four decades the Grimms would publish six other editions, each extensively revised in content and style. For the very first time, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm makes available in English all 156 stories from the 1812 and 1815 editions. These narrative gems, newly translated and brought together in one beautiful book, are accompanied by sumptuous new illustrations from award-winning artist Andrea Dezsö.

From "The Frog King" to "The Golden Key," wondrous worlds unfold--heroes and heroines are rewarded, weaker animals triumph over the strong, and simple bumpkins prove themselves not so simple after all. Esteemed fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes offers accessible translations that retain the spare description and engaging storytelling style of the originals. Indeed, this is what makes the tales from the 1812 and 1815 editions unique--they reflect diverse voices, rooted in oral traditions, that are absent from the Grimms' later, more embellished collections of tales. Zipes's introduction gives important historical context, and the book includes the Grimms' prefaces and notes.

A delight to read, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm presents these peerless stories to a whole new generation of readers.

*All my quotations from the book are from the unproofed ARC I received several weeks ago. I waited for the final review copy to arrive but the envelope arrived last week split open along a seam and empty with a nice sticker on the front from USPS telling me that my package "Arrived Without Contents." I'm not sure if and when another will arrive.